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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:00 PM

Inside the Paint - Tuesday

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L.A. Lakers (28-28 SU, 24-30-2 ATS) at Atlanta (18-38 SU, 24-32 ATS)

Is this a must-win spot for the Lakers? Los Angeles will conclude its six-game road trip and the first-half of its season on Tuesday at Atlanta and this line seems a little short (Lakers -5 ½) and could be a big trap for the betting public. The Lakers were recently listed as 2 ½-point road favorites at Indiana on Feb. 5 and I’ve got a hard time believing that the Pacers are only three points better than the Hawks.

And as much as I like Atlanta and its young core, the kids have been worse at home (8-16 SU, 7-17 ATS) this season and it’s dropped five in a row at State Farm Arena. Bettors should make a note that the point-spread hasn’t mattered when the team is listed as an underdog, which could have you leaning Hawks +180 on the money-line. Their last win at home came on Jan. 15, a 142-126 upset win over Oklahoma City as a 10-point underdog. If the Hawks drop their sixth straight game at home tonight, a bounce back is lined up with the Knicks visiting on Thursday before the break. 

Los Angeles has gone 2-3 on its current road trip, which includes an embarrassing 143-120 loss at Philadelphia on Sunday. LeBron James has played in four of those five games as he sat out the loss at Golden State (115-101) on Feb. 2. You could argue that the Lakers could be 0-5 if it wasn’t for an overtime win against the Clippers and Rajon Rondo's buzzer-beater to defeat the Celtics. On the season, they’ve gone 6-7 SU and 5-8 ATS as road favorites.

This is the highest total (236) on the board for Tuesday. Los Angeles has watched the ‘over’ go 7-2 on the road in games against clubs from the East and Atlanta enters this game in terrible defensive form. The Hawks have surrendered 123.7 points per game in their last nine, which has led to a 7-2 ‘over’ mark.

Different faces on these teams but the Lakers have won five straight against the Hawks and they’ve gone 4-1 ATS during this span while the ‘over’ is 3-2. The non-cover came on Nov. 11 of this season as Los Angeles beat Atlanta 107-106 but failed to cover as an 11-point home favorite.

Orlando (25-32 SU, 30-26-1 ATS) at New Orleans (25-32 SU, 27-29-1 ATS)

The Pelicans are going to be a tough team to handicap the rest of the way due to the minute restriction placed on All-Star Anthony Davis. The team has gone 3-7 in their last 10 and that includes Saturday’s 99-90 loss at Memphis. New Orleans has been better at home (16-10 SU, 13-13 ATS) this season but it hasn’t been dominant versus teams from the East (5-4 SU, 3-6 ATS) and Orlando comes into this matchup surging.

The Magic have won and covered three straight and five of their last six games, two of those wins coming on the road. The team is playing with confidence and is only two games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. Orlando has gone 2-1 both SU and ATS in its last three trips to New Orleans, which includes a 115-99 victory last season as a 7 ½-point underdog.

Boston (35-21 SU, 27-28-1 ATS) at Philadelphia (36-20 SU, 27-29 ATS)

The nationally televised double-header on TNT will begin in Philadelphia, who opened as a five-point home favorite and the number has been pushed up to -6 ½ as of Tuesday morning. Boston won’t have point guard Kyrie Irving (knee) available for this game.

The Celtics come into this game off back-to-back collapses at home, losing to the Lakers 129-128 last Thursday before falling to the Clippers 123-112 on Saturday. While Boston was falling apart to the pair from Los Angeles, Philadelphia posted a pair of impressive wins over the Nuggets (117-110) and Lakers (143-120). The club added Tobias Harris from the Clippers at the trade deadline and he’s averaging 18 PPG and 7 rebounds in his first two games with Philadelphia.

These teams have met twice already this season and Boston won and covered both contests, however those games were played at TD Garden and Irving was active in both contests, scoring 40 points in the Celtics’ 121-114 win on Christmas over Philadelphia. To say he’ll be missed tonight would be an understatement. Boston hasn’t been great on the road (13-13 SU, 9-16-1 ATS) and it’s been terrible when listed as an underdog this season, going 2-6 both SU and ATS. Make a note that the ‘over’ has gone 6-2 in those games. While the Celtics have been pedestrian on the road, Philadelphia has been a beast at home (23-6 SU, 16-13 ATS) this season.

Both clubs will be in action again tomorrow as Boston hosts Detroit and Philadelphia visits New York.

San Antonio (32-26 SU, 31-26-1 ATS) at Memphis (23-34 SU, 25-31-1 ATS)

Another possible trap game here with the Spurs listed as four-point road favorites but when you look at the series, it seems like a fair number. This will be the fourth and final meeting of the season between the pair and Memphis has gone 2-1 both SU and ATS versus San Antonio. The most recent encounter took place at FedEx Forum on Jan. 9 and the Grizzlies stifled the Spurs 96-86 as 2 ½-point home underdogs.

As solid as the Spurs have been this season, their road mark (10-19 SU, 13-15-1 ATS) hasn’t been great. However, their record when laying points as visitors (5-4 SU, 4-5 ATS) has been a tad better.

After going 7-23 in a brutal 30-game stretch, the Grizzlies have sort of found their footing with a 4-4 record over their last eight games. More importantly, they’ve been productive for bettors with a 6-1-1 ATS record and Memphis has gotten back to the grind with its defense and slow-tempo, and that’s helped the ‘under’ go 6-2 during this stretch.

This is the lowest total (208) on the board for Tuesday and while Memphis has been a great ‘under’ (36-21) lean, make a note that San Antonio has been the best ‘over’ (20-8-1) wager on the road.

Utah (32-24 SU, 28-26-2 ATS) at Golden State (40-15 SU, 24-30-1 ATS)

The Warriors and Jazz will conclude their three-game season series on Tuesday and Golden State has been installed as a healthy nine-point favorite. The first two games took place earlier in the season from Salt Lake City and they were split. Golden State earned a 124-123 win on Oct. 19 and Utah avenged that loss with a 108-103 victory on Dec. 9. The Jazz were 2 ½ and 2-point underdogs, covering both games and they’ve now cashed in five straight against the Warriors.

Utah has gone 2-3 SU and 4-1 ATS in its last five trips to Oracle Arena and the spread ranged between 9 and 14 points. As a road underdog this season, the Jazz have gone 5-7 SU and 5-6-1 ATS. This will be the final game of the first-half for the Jazz and they enter this game with wins and covers in three of their last four games.

After posting identical 13-7 records in the first two quarters of the season (26-14), the Warriors have been much better in the third stanza (14-1). For bettors, they’ve gone 8-6-1 ATS but they limp into this game with a 1-4 skid over their last five games. The ‘over’ has gone 9-6 during this stretch and tonight’s total (226) is definitely high for this series. The Jazz have seen the ‘over’ go 15-13 on the road.

TNT will provide coverage of this game at 10:35 p.m. ET.

Chris David can be reached at [email protected]

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